By Meanne M. Mijares
The New Year has just started. It’s also the time for resolutions. Here are some inspiring resolutions to start the year right and make it the best year ever yet! Pope Francis is truly in touch with his Master’s flock. He hardly shows a holier than thou behaviour. With his kindness and humility, he makes our Lord Jesus Christ accessible to us while at the same time bringing us to Him. If we have a top 10 list of songs to sing, books to read, places to go and visit, movies to watch, we must have a top 10 list of new year’s resolutions. I like this best because they are simple and practical.
- DON’T GOSSIP.
According to the book of Proverbs, “Gossip is so tasty! How we love to swallow it.” Caveat: it can be poisonous-to those spreading it and who are victims as well. In our culture, unfortunately, gossip is already part of it. Pope Francis says that every time we gossip, we tear the other person to pieces and every time we speak badly of people with others and judge them in our hearts we murder them. I believe that is being un-Christian. I do agree with Pope Francis on this and there is no such thing as innocent slander. If we only do away with gossip, our lives would be much better. Instead of spreading malicious rumours and gossips about other people and irrelevant matters, why not spread about the Gospel in the way we live and deal with others?
- FINISH YOUR MEAL.
Sad but true, there are many people all over the world who are hungry. Pope Francis says that throwing away food is like stealing from the tables of the poor. He encourages everyone to ponder on the problem of wasted food and share it with the needy.
- MAKE TIME FOR OTHERS.
Father James Martin said that if Pope Francis is able to make time to be kind to others and make someone feel appreciated we can do it as well. Don’t wait for too long to do that! Keep doing it every day and see the remarkable difference!
- CHOOSE THE ‘MORE HUMBLE’ PURCHASE.
We all want to display our expensive items before others for them to see that we can afford the fine dining restaurants, perfumes, clothes, cars and what have you. Buying expensive items does not define who we are. Pope Francis says that we should put on Christ in our lives. We will never be satisfied with so many possessions because they will not make us happy but only create the illusion of being happy. There is a warning that our possessions may possess us and we end up wanting more, buying more. But with Christ , it will never be that way-there are no disappointments!
- MEET THE POOR ‘IN THE FLESH’.
Our beloved Pope says that charity does not change the poor’s situation and neither does hospitality. He challenges us to help and empower the poor to be self-sufficient and be productive people to be able to contribute to society. This I believe is the best way to uplift their spirits and boost their morale.
- STOP JUDGING OTHERS.
He seems to be saying that God does not give up on us and neither does he judge us. Because if we continue to judge others and put them down, how can they be given the chance to be a better version of themselves? Pope Francis really struck a chord when he said “If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?” and “Let us not forget that hatred, envy, and pride defile our lives!” Let us hate the sin but pray for the sinner. Spiritual pride is the most dreadful of all sins! If they are not perfect, so are we. We all fall short from the glory of God. No one is righteous. So let us refrain from being self-righteous. Putting others down cannot make us soar higher.
- BEFRIEND THOSE WHO DISAGREE.
Dialogue according to Pope Francis is always his response when leaders in different fields. There is a lot of good that can be drawn if we use the power of dialogue. It can unlock solutions to problems, if we only know the right approach and that is through a spirit of openness and without prejudice. Wonderful!
- MAKE COMMITMENTS, SUCH AS MARRIAGE OR TO SOMETHING LARGER THAN YOURSELF.
He empowers us to be revolutionaries, to challenge and rebel against the status quo and culture that sees everything as passing and believe in the capacity to be happy but responsible knowing the consequences of our actions by honouring our commitments.
- MAKE IT A HABIT TO ‘ASK THE LORD’.
“Dear young people,” he says, “some of you may not yet know what you will do with your lives. Ask the Lord, and he will show you the way. The young Samuel kept hearing the voice of the Lord who was calling him, but he did not understand or know what to say, yet with the help of the priest Eli, in the end he answered: ‘Speak, Lord, for I am listening’ (cf. 1 Sam 3:1-10). You too can ask the Lord: What do you want me to do? What path am I to follow?” He will answer you and lead you to the proper direction.
- BE HAPPY.
“Joy cannot be held at the heel: let it go! Joy is a pilgrim virtue. It is a gift that walks, walks on the path of life, that walks with Jesus: preaching, proclaiming Jesus, proclaiming joy, lengthens and widens that path.” Show others the light of Christ by being friendly and smiling at others. Smiles break chains and destroy barriers. Make others happy by being happy. Laugh, crack jokes but not the green ones! Tell them not to take life too seriously.
Now, are you ready to set out to fulfil them?